Willem Dafoe will star in Disney’s Togo live-action movie which is all about two key figures in the 1925 Nome Serum Run; sled dog Togo and sled driver Leonhard Seppala. Disney is developing Togo for its streaming service, which will launch late next year. Ericson Core, whose credits include Invincible and the remake of Point Break, is directing the project.
Nome in Alaska became famous in 1925 as the destination of the serum run, also known as the Great Race of Mercy, in which dog sleds played a major role in transporting diphtheria serum through harsh conditions over nearly 700 miles to save the city from an epidemic. Gunnar Kaasen and his lead sled dog Balto became known for running the final leg of the run while Seppala ran the penultimate and longest leg in temperatures that were 30 degrees below zero in gale force winds.
Coming back to the flick, the story will focus on the unlikely friendship between a man and dog. Togo was an unruly and undersized puppy but showed great leadership qualities and became the lead dog at the age of five. He passed away in 1929.
Dafoe will play Seppala. He received his third Academy Award nomination for best supporting actor this year for The Florida Project after being previously nominated in the category for Platoon and Shadow of the Vampire.
See you soon at the movies, Mr. Dafoe!